Kadamay denounced the latest attack on the occupied areas in Pandi, Bulacan. The communities had previously been subject to harassment, intimidation, physical harm among others led by state agents. Since September 4, an organization dubbed “Pro-government” entered the community inciting violence and trying to impose a dictatorial hold on the housing sites. Shots from a sumpak were fired during a witch-hunt for Kadamay leaders, including Pat Tupaz, former Kadamay Pandi Chairperson.
They were followed by the forcible entry of dozens of Pandi Police officers and military troops from the 48th infantry battalion interrogating Kadamay leaders in their homes, ransacking them and stealing their belongings.
On September 7, two platoon of soldiers and police once again entered the community in an attempt to evict occupiers.
The same group also forcibly took over the local Kadamay office burned the organization’s documents and flag on September 8. All of this done amid the presence of police officers who enabled these new goons to implement their own agenda.
This new group has unashamedly declared that they have the backing of the police, military and the Duterte government to bring down Kadamay in Pandi through any means necessary.
Kadamay denounced this new plot as part of the overall counter-insurgency plot of the administration in the form of Oplan Kapanatagan. The occupied sites in Pandi themselves were twice mentioned in the Armed Forces of the Philippines’ document “12 Pillars of Counter-insurgency.” This is also aligned with recent statements from the President that something big will happen in relation to their crackdown on government critics. A signal fire of greater urban militarization on a national scale.
This is a clear and dastardly attempt to impose Martial Law in the occupied areas. The Duterte government wants nothing more than to bully the poor into submission giving more freedom to implement greater hardship on the housing and human rights of the Filipino people.
Kadamay will not stand for this. Persistent problems of homelessness remain and the authorities are exploiting this fact to pit the poor against themselves furthering their own fascist plot.
Kadamay estimates that the “Pro-government” organization numbers at around 200 with some of them former Kadamay members who were bribed and/or threatened into being co-opted. However, Kadamay has gathered information from those who were attempted to be converted by military agents yet chose not to betray the organization.
Instead of pouring resources into attacks against Kadamay, the Duterte government should instead exert effort into sincerely addressing the problems of the urban poor. The administration is focusing more effort into sowing disunity among the poor while neglecting their basic needs. Even if it has passed Joint Resolution 2 to supposedly re-distribute PNP-AFP housing, it has been plagued by red tape and is being used as a tool to disenfranchise Kadamay.
Moreover, recent orders from the President himself have awarded almost 4,000 housing units to the top brass of its armed forces, deliberately neglecting longstanding demands of the homeless for shelter.
Expositions on this latest attack will undoubtedly unfold throughout this week as more attacks are being threatened against Kadamay. Protests against these blatant and futile attempts to derail the victories the occupied areas have achieved will not fail. ###